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EPA has made major adjustments to its recently-published Nanomaterials Research Strategy which incorporates many of PETA's recommendations on the draft version. PETA is pleased that EPA's new document uses an integrated testing strategy approach that includes PETA's suggestions. This should greatly reduce the use of animals in assessing nanomaterials while increasing the Agency's capabilities of assessing human health effects.
PETA's recommendations that EPA has implemented include a thorough physical characterization and application of a comprehensive range of in vitro tests that can prioritize materials for further testing as well as inform and reduce any subsequent testing
EPA has also taken PETA's recommendations on ecological testing into consideration and has stated the Agency's desire to reduce whole animal-based methods for environmental studies as well.
Importantly, the research strategy articulates the goal of identifying non-animal methods that will be ultimately preclude the perceived need for any in vivo testing. EPA appears to have taken to heart the principles outlined in the National Academy of Sciences, Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy which calls for increased use of current non-animal technologies and biological understanding that is more precise, relevant, and which will improve hazard assessment.
"We are gratified that EPA recognizes that ensuring safe nanomaterials can be accomplished by using and investing in in vitro and in silico nanotoxicity testing methods. It is heartening to see that PETA and EPA can work towards the same goal of reducing animal use while improving toxicity testing. This research strategy is a further step in the right direction, and PETA looks forward to helping this plan become a reality," says Samantha Dozier, Ph.D., PETA's Policy Advisor for Nanomaterials.
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